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Thread: Disinfecting a Wooden Board

  1. #1

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    Disinfecting a Wooden Board

    I accidentally left a window open last night and a charming possum (annoying native australian marsupial!) decided to empty its bladder on my chopping board. Having never had to thoroughly disinfect an end grain board before, I'm wondering if anyone has some tips for food safe chemicals I could use. I didn't really want to go soaking it in bleach or something without a bit of research

    Thanks for the help.

  2. #2
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    Shoot it.
    Spike C
    "The Buddha resides as comfortably in the circuits of a digital computer or the gears of a cycle transmission as he does at the top of a mountain."
    Pirsig

  3. #3
    Senior Member FryBoy's Avatar
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    I don't think disinfecting is really the problem here -- you can do that by simply washing the board in hot water and dishwasher detergent, letting it dry thoroughly, and then spraying it with a 50/50 solution of water and vinegar, letting it set for an hour or so, and then drying it with paper towels.

    The really issue is whether you want to use something on which a possum has pissed. Even assuming you can sterilize the board and get rid of any residual smell, can you ever get thought of it out of your head? And what about your family and guests? Would you want to eat food prepared on someone else's chopping block on which a wild animal had urinated? No matter how well it had been cleaned, I'd pass, if not puke.

    My advice: burn it, buy a new one, lock your window, and chalk it up to experience.
    Doug Collins
    Hermosa Beach, California

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by FryBoy View Post
    I don't think disinfecting is really the problem here -- you can do that by simply washing the board in hot water and dishwasher detergent, letting it dry thoroughly, and then spraying it with a 50/50 solution of water and vinegar, letting it set for an hour or so, and then drying it with paper towels.

    The really issue is whether you want to use something on which a possum has pissed. Even assuming you can sterilize the board and get rid of any residual smell, can you ever get thought of it out of your head? And what about your family and guests? Would you want to eat food prepared on someone else's chopping block on which a wild animal had urinated? No matter how well it had been cleaned, I'd pass, if not puke.

    My advice: burn it, buy a new one, lock your window, and chalk it up to experience.
    +1000

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by FryBoy View Post
    The really issue is whether you want to use something on which a possum has pissed. Even assuming you can sterilize the board and get rid of any residual smell, can you ever get thought of it out of your head? And what about your family and guests? Would you want to eat food prepared on someone else's chopping block on which a wild animal had urinated? No matter how well it had been cleaned, I'd pass, if not puke.

    My advice: burn it, buy a new one, lock your window, and chalk it up to experience.

    I'm going to have agree with this.

  6. #6
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    I'm really trying hard to think of some way to salvage this board. Really hard.
    Spike C
    "The Buddha resides as comfortably in the circuits of a digital computer or the gears of a cycle transmission as he does at the top of a mountain."
    Pirsig

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by SpikeC View Post
    Shoot it.
    unfortunately they're protected and from memory it's up to $140,000 fine for killing one (which is about $200,000 US atm :P)

    FryBoy, that's somewhat the advice I expected, thanks for the rational thoughts. Sadly it's only about 2 months old too

  8. #8
    Take a few mm's off the board with a beltsander or have someone do it for you. Maybe this helps with the memory-thing.

  9. #9
    The alleles created by mutation may be beneficial


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    I'm going to have to go without everyone else... and now that we have mentioned it, there is no way you will get it out of your head!

    P.S.
    I thought the conversion rate was almost 1:1? Is that not true anymore?

  10. #10
    Take the board, wash it thoroughly with very hot water and the aforementioned disinfecting process(vinegar/etc). Sunlight has been shown to disinfect like nothing else can. If you wash a board with white vinegar, then expose it to direct sunlight, there will be little or NO bacterial colonies.

    Then, sand it down a bit, then get it wet, let it air dry a bit, and sand it to a really fine finish. oil it(or wax it or whatever you do), and leave it outside in a shady area for a day or so. Then bury it in the dirt for 24 hours(so long as it's not wet dirt...sandy soil is best, we had very sand soil where I grew up). Wash all the dirt off, clean it and oil it, and you're good to go. Board reborn.

    No need to toss it!

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